QUESTION TEXT: Everyone should have access to more than one…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Some important stories wouldn’t get adequate coverage if there were only one newspaper.
REASONING: Not every story in a newspaper can get full coverage.
ANALYSIS: There are two elements in this question:
- Argument structure
- A concept shift.
First, argument structure. The conclusion of the argument is not clear. The first sentence is a conclusion. You might call it the main conclusion, you might not. However, it’s not where the weak link is. There is a second conclusion at the end of the argument, and it’s not well supported. Since this is a flaw question, you need to be focussing on the flawed section of the reasoning.
You can tell final sentence is also a conclusion because the sentence beforehand says “Since…..and”. This can be read as “Since A, and because B, therefore some important stories….”. English often omits important structural words if they’re implied. I’ve italicized the words that are merely implied by the English.
Why do I say this is the conclusion to focus on, and not the first sentence? Because the author doesn’t even try to prove the first sentence. They haven’t shown that people need to read the news or need a complete perspective. Only the final sentence receives a chain of statements attempting to prove it. So while the first sentence is interesting context, it’s ultimately fluff. Stating it isn’t a flaw, because the actual argument is in the second sentence.
The flaw is a shift in terms. It’s so subtle you probably missed it. The conclusion is that “not all important stories will be fully covered”. The evidence is that “Not all stories will be fully covered”.
The author dropped the word “important”. But it’s possible that every important story does receive coverage from all sides. Note also that I simplified the language to “not all” in both cases. It’s logically equivalent, but it’s easier to see the term switch the way I wrote it.
- CORRECT. See the analysis above. It’s possible that, say, there are 100 stories, 5 of them very important. And the 20 most important stories all receive full coverage. So every very important story is covered.
- The author wasn’t saying that two papers guaranteed coverage. The author was saying that having only one paper guaranteed failure. The author’s focus was on avoiding certain failure; success still isn’t guaranteed.
- This didn’t happen at all. The author didn’t recommend that newspapers change. Their recommendation was about what individuals should do.
- On the LSAT, you need to interpret statements literally. And if a statement is insane, interpreted literally, then the answer is almost certainly wrong.
This answer means that every human has access to every American newspaper, every French newspaper, every Mongolian newspaper, every North Korean newspaper, etc. It’s crazy! No author would assume this.
- This isn’t a flaw! It’s valid to assume that full coverage only matters for important stories.
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Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly